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Olympus XZ-1 Review Summary

10 Megapixels10 MegapixelsElectronic View FinderElectronic View FinderHigh ISO: ISO 6400 or more is available at full-resolution.High ISO: ISO 6400 or more is available at full-resolution.Stabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Stabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.720p HD Video: 1280 x 720 resolution or more but less than 1920 x 1080.720p HD Video: 1280 x 720 resolution or more but less than 1920 x 1080.Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringAccepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Accepts Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), SDHC and SD memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed reviewDiscontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Olympus XZ-1 Assessment

The Olympus XZ-1 is an excellent compact camera with an advanced feature set and mostly efficient controls to access them. Just about every feature is covered and expansion options are unmatched. The ultra-bright lens is the headline specification, giving it access to lower-ISO than most its peers under the same conditions.

Image quality is very good with no discernable noise until ISO 400. The iZuiko lens is incredible sharp and barely needs to be stopped down to acheive its optimal performance. Metering, white-balance and focus are quite reliable. Colors are not quite perfect but sufficiently resemble reality. Performance is average to good, depending on what is measured. Shutter-lag is slow compared to top cameras but shot-to-shot speeds are very good. Focus is on the only slow aspect.

The XZ-1 provides plenty more controls than most of its peers. There are certainly some quirks but overall it handles well. The display is unfortunately not exposure-priority and its live-histogram is of limited use. The camera also lacks a video mode, making setting up video-framing impossible. This seems like a recurring theme lately and it is certainly not the only camera to experience these issues.

Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed review Read the full Olympus XZ-1 review.

PROS CONS
Ultra-Bright F/1.8 lens, lets use lower ISO Colors not entirely natural
Excellent lens sharpness Custom white-balance not perfect
Uniform lens brightness Slow autofocus
Extremely low distortion Noticeable shutter-lag
Low image noise Video recording lag
Very good automatic white-balance Impossible to setup framing for video
Conservative metering Not exposure-priority
Reliable autofocus Incorrect histogram
Above average shot-to-shot speed Poorly used rear control-dial
Optional tiltable EVF
Built-in ND filter
Great build quality
ExcellentExcellent Excellent

Olympus XZ-1 Facts


Compact digital camera

Sensor-Size: 8 x 6mm

1/1.7" Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

10 Megapixels Fixed LensISO 100-6400
4X Wide Optical ZoomShutter 1/2000-60s
Built-in StabilizationFull manual controls, including Manual Focus
0.20" Optional EVF 1.4 Megapixels (0.58X)Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning
1280x720 @ 30 FPS Video RecordingSpot-Metering
3" LCD 610K PixelsHot-Shoe
Stereo audio input
Lithium-Ion Battery
Secure Digital Extended Capacity
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